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Can't Touch This! A Comparison of 46 CPU Coolers

Specific Cooling Performance - Swiftech Duo Still In The Lead

Specific cooling performance C/W is a gauge for the quality of a cooler.

Specific cooling performance denotes the quality of a cooler - the smaller the value is, the better the cooling effect is. In general, specific cooling performance scores are related to the temperature readings. The winner in previous tests, the Swiftech MC462, attains a C/W score of 0.16, putting it once again squarely at the top of the pack. This positions it a considerable distance ahead of its brother, the Swiftech MC370-0A, which was la crème de la crème in the first group tested. Of the newcomer coolers, the Blizzard Thunderbird has entered very high on the performance totem pole. Its C/W of 0.31 puts it on a par with the excellent Silverado from Noise Control. The Global Win CAK 38's cooling performance, a C/W of 0.33, is equally good. In general, we can say that

If specific cooling performance is somewhere between 0.35 and 0.4, this indicates a really decent cooler-fan system. Scores below 0.35 are very good; below 0.20, they're top-notch.

The upper echelon still includes the two Swiftech models, which placed first and second. The MC462 was designed for use with the new Pentium 4, which has to meet entirely new requirements for thermal behavior.

The scores of the last models in this chart put them entirely out of the question - the Smart Cooler is the new laggard with a C/W score of 0.69. If it comes to this, then it's hardly even worthwhile installing a cooler. All coolers with C/W scores above 0.57 are fully unsuitable for both overclocking and for AMD Athlon CPUs faster than 1000 MHz. At this point, we would like to mention that all scores were obtained using our reference configuration. Although using these coolers in another system could lead to slightly different results, these deviations shouldn't be significant.